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“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.”
~ Hatha Yoga Pradipika
hatha yoga pose

The word Hatha is said to signify two forces – sun (ha) and moon (tha), or male and female, similar to the Chinese concept of Yin and Yang. So Hatha is the yoga (union) that balances the sun and the moon. It is a preparation of the physical and energy bodies, in order to create a higher possibility. The object of Hatha Yoga goes much beyond the physical practice of postures and stretches - it is to uncover the true self which is free from cycles of death and birth.

At Shoonya Shala, our Hatha lineage is handed down from the spiritual vision of Swami Sivananda and the teaching programs developed by his disciples Swami Vishnudevananda (Sivananda Yoga) and Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Bihar School of Yoga). A Sivananda yoga class emphasises a 90 minute practice that revolves around 12 basic postures, frequent relaxation (Savasana), and emphasizes full, yogic breathing. A class typically begins with rest in Savasana (corpse pose), Kapalabhati (cleansing of lungs) and Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing), followed by Surya Namaskara (sun salutation), before the basic asanas.

We also teach a Hatha Yoga Flow practice, which allows hatha yoga postures to flow with the breath, in a series or sequence. The sequencing may be gentle or vigorous, giving the practitioner a mild or intense cardiovascular stimulation. It builds strength, endurance and strong focus, while bringing attention to breath.

Swami Sivananda is a great saint of modern times. He began his journey as a medical doctor and humanitarian, later renouncing worldly life and establishing the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh. This self-realized master was an embodiment of love and compassion. He left a great legacy of knowledge through his gifted disciples. Perhaps the best known of these are Swami Vishnudevananda (Founder, Sivananda Yoga), Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Founder, Bihar School of Yoga) & Swami Chinmayananda (Founder, Chinmaya Mission).
hatha yoga swami
Swami Vishnudevananda met his guru, Swami Sivananda in early adulthood. An adept in the ancient science of Yoga, he was sent to the West in 1957 by Swami Sivananda. Swami Vishnudevananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers.
hatha yoga swami vishnudevananda
The Sivananda training system aims to retain the vitality of the body and decrease chance of disease, by simply and naturally refining the body. The Sivananda Yoga system philosophies are summarized in 5 basic principles:
• Proper exercise yellow bar1 • Proper relaxation yellow bar 2 • Positive thinking and
• Proper breathing • Proper diet   meditation